A couple days ago I was surprised to see Ev was leaving Google and Blogger after all these years, but I’m happy for him. I got to see it all happen from ground zero, back in 2000 at Pyra and those were some of the best days of my life. We just knew we had a winner on our hands and that it was a matter of time before it blew up and changed the world. After a year of dwindling cash reserves, I started to think that maybe I was like every other kid coding in some San Francisco startup, thinking everything was world changing when so much of it wasn’t, but I knew someday the app would make its mark on our culture.
I remember back to an eleventh hour discussion of how to get the company back on track, and at one point the idea of charging a small fee for Blogger was on the table. Ev was strongly against it, and despite making Blogger free forever meant no more paychecks for me, I knew that was the right move to make, in the long view of things. Unfettered and free publishing to the world wasn’t just a lofty goal, it was the only way to reach the masses. Ev made a lot of difficult decisions while I was there, but most all of them were the right ones in hindsight. And after slogging through year after year of struggle, Ev pulled through, took it to Google, and really raised it to a whole other level. Blogger is now a juggernaut, and rightfully so.
I believe Blogger really has changed the world. It has given a voice to millions and every day seems to seep further into popular culture. And a big reason for that is Ev, Meg, and pb, for making the first really easy to use blogging app that was taken up by the masses.
So while I was surprised by the news, I’m happy to hear it, as I believe Ev deserves all the success he’ll get after sticking with it all these years. It sounds like he’ll be taking a six-month long bender of travel and fun, but I really can’t wait to see what comes next. I’ve watched a few friends and friends-of-friends get to a point where money isn’t a limiting issue when launching new ventures, and it really allows them to innovate. Blogger made the web a place where you didn’t just read, you also wrote. Pyra the project management app came out about six years ago and vanished soon after, but there still doesn’t seem to be anything equal to it. What comes next is anybody’s guess, but I can’t wait to see it.